Intentional Engagement: Counseling Clients about Bequest Disclosure
March 3, 2022
Benjamin C. Stahmann
Each year, most philanthropic bequests arrive as surprises to the charity. Each surprise bequest represents a tragically missed opportunity for a donor to have fully experienced the delights of philanthropy. Professional advisers, particularly lawyers, can best help a client assess the risks and benefits of bequest disclosure if they understand their ethical responsibilities and approach the issue with the preparation and insight that characterize the rest of their counseling and planning. This session identifies the professional responsibilities that advisers owe their planning clients, explores the risks and benefits of bequest disclosure, and suggests steps that advisers can take to help their clients decide whether and how disclosure might advance their interests.
Ben has been involved in charitable estate planning since his first law school clerkship thirty years ago. After six years in private law practice, Ben became National Endowment Counsel for the Boy Scouts of America where he administered their charitable gift annuity and pooled income programs, helped train thousands of volunteers and helped identify hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred gifts. Next, he contributed to Oklahoma State University’s successful billion-dollar comprehensive campaign as Senior Director of Gift Planning. Taking a position at his alma mater, Brigham Young University, Ben then managed teams responsible for all aspects of Gift Planning. Since 2018, Ben has led gift planning efforts at Utah State University.